1980's In Pursuit of Proportion
In 1978 Ahmed embarked on an M. Phil research, which he completed in 1980, on a progressive investigation into providing a logical and coherent explanation of the true significance of the term “Proportioned Script” (al Khatt al-Mansub, Ibn Muqla – 272-328AH / 886-940CE). This was no mean feat: the legibility of a text and the beauty of its line require rules of proportion that have never been adequately explained. No detailed study of this topic existed in print thus far.
Between 1980 and 1982, he was also engaged as a part-time lecturer on Arabic Penmanship at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, emphatically announcing his arrival in academia in 1989 when he was awarded a PhD in 1989 by the Council for National Academic Awards. The research would provide a definitive scientific reference for a greater understanding and appreciation of Islamic Art in general and Arabic Penmanship in particular. In fact, his work to explain the Scientific Foundation of Arabic Letter Shapes had involved 11 years of painstaking research.
His work is now almost exclusively devoted to abstract compositions inspired by texts from the Holy Qur’ān. He has created an astonishingly rich visual vocabulary through an innovative fusion of his skills as a painter and as a master scribe in the tradition of Islamic penmanship.
Ahmed Moustafa has lived and worked in London since 1974 and directs the Fe-Noon Ahmed Moustafa Research Centre for Arab Art and Design, which he established in 1983.